Saturday, September 8, 2012

Diagnosed vs Defined

"And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong." (2 Cor. 12:7-10) 

Our society loves a diagnosis. We love a name, a reason or a blame for why our lives are what they are. I'm always perplexed by those who enter the Emergency Room anxious from their lack of oxygen and are desperate for "WHY" they feel bad and want and "ANSWER" for they're suffering yet they have refused to stop smoking even up until the front doors of the ER. For some, their history or diagnosis becomes the stage on which they define their whole day or even their whole life. 
Their. Whole. Life. 

Each one of us can fall into this trap. Have you ever offered something about your past or your present for why you fail at something today. I have. What I love about this scripture in 2 Corinthians is Paul doesn't even give his thorn credit. He doesn't call it by name. We can assume it's not a sin issue because he would state a need for repentance and Paul was no slack when it came to calling things as they were. I think if he had given his thorn a name we would've had a whole multitude of people who then would justify their weakness because this great man of God "had it too". To speculate, It could've been depression because Paul spent many years in trials that many of us couldn't hold a candle to...jailed for years, shipwrecked three times, on the run for his life, abandoned at sea, bitten by a snake, beaten, mocked, and the list goes on. His thorn could've been a physical ailment...arthritis, gout, migraines, acne, restless leg syndrome....Whatever it was, what he does is, he tells us that he asked for God to remove it, three times and then he tells us the Lord's answer, "My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness." Then Paul goes on to tell us he will glory in his infirmities so that Christ may rest on him. Does God have the power to heal us?? Yes! Should we ask for it? Yes!! BUT even if he doesn't....even if He DOESN'T...we have to know, because it says so in scripture, that God's GRACE IS SUFFICIENT. If we say it is not, we call God a liar. 

Our history and our present ailments should not define who we are and be the theme of our lives. The only thing we should be defined by is the redeeming love of our Jesus and the unfailing grace of our God. We are NOT permitted to baste and stew in our past or in our present. We ought to be bathed and drenched in the Spirit of God who gives us grace to endure. 

I want to clarify that there are seasons in life that are painful. Emotional and Physical traumas that stifle us...for a time. I don't claim the duration in which these things last. And I also want to state that some of these painful stories need to be told so as to offer and demonstrate the hope we have in God and that He is faithful in all things. This is what many of testimonies of scripture do. I do know for a fact that our pains and suffering are, yes, part of our story....but even greater...they are part of HIS STORY in us. We are designed for HIS Glory. The whole scripture, in all the stories told and the lives lived, many sufferings were endured but none greater that the suffering of my Jesus on our behalf. If all these souls could speak to us today they would say, "IT is worth it!!, Endure!!!" 

My job in the Emergency Department is as a nurse to assist the sick, sad and injured with immediate help, emergent help. My job as a daughter of God is to live a life that glorifies him in all things, preach Christ and encourage others to do the same. I confess that, as I feel that our Lord has called me recently to do more for His kingdom, I have felt fear that my faith would be tested. I hope and pray that whatever the plan God has for this life He has given me, that I would hold my hands open to him that I would testify to His goodness, His mercy and His grace in anything that He filters through his hands. He loves me and He loves my family and I trust my Jesus. I don't want the excuses of my past or my present OR even the fear of my future to inhibit anything he wants to do in me or through me. Because, in the beginning and in the end, I am His, my future is with Him and that is a good thing. 

I am linked up here with fellow sisters:

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